Dallas Morning News Editorial: Bogus Quotes
Dr. Lyons-Weiler Invites Boston Herald to Retract Editorial as Hate Speech

2017 Measles Hysteria

Measles 2017
Note: Minnesota seems to be going the way of California. Measles madness hits the otherwise logical midwest.  The Boston Herald called vaccination choice a "hanging offense." Seems the blue states are seeing red when it comes to medical choice. Very unsettling.

By Anne Dachel

Except for the New American, these are just scripted, emotional stories blaming measles in Minnesota on the FALSE claims of a link between vaccines and autism and the antivaxxers who promote it.  Newpapers are like department stores, airlines and banks: there are only a handful left in the country and they share the same basics.

Minnesota is a SOLIDLY Democratic state, and I think they're going to use this measles issue to push for an end to exemptions. It makes sense. It happened in California, another Democratic state, but I don't think that Minnesota will command the attention that California did.

***May 9, 2017, New AmericanMeasles Outbreak Prompts Outrage Against Anti-vaxers 

An outbreak of measles amongst a small unvaccinated population in Minnesota could spell trouble for the anti-vax community as it may prompt yet another push for forced vaccinations by vaccine advocates. The media is using the latest outbreak to criticize anti-vax groups and tout the “benefits” of vaccinations, despite the science that links vaccines to a number of long-term health issues.

And whether the CDC can even be considered a trustworthy entity is another issue. According to a controversial 2016 film directed by autism advocate Dr. Andrew Wakefield entitled Vaxxed: From Coverup to Catastrophe, the CDC was behind a major cover-up of the MMR vaccine’s connection to autism. The documentary is based on revelations by CDC whistleblower Dr. William Thompson, a former senior scientist at the CDC who admits that the organization destroyed evidence linking the MMR vaccination to autism.

But while Thompson’s revelations were groundbreaking, the mainstream media virtually staged an all-out blackout. Instead, it waits for stories of “measles outbreaks” to launch a media firestorm. ...

May 9, 2017, Philly.comHealth Highlights: May 9, 2017

They said concerns of a link between measles vaccination and autism were stoked by vaccine skeptics.

"What we have now is a community that was really influenced by these anti-vaccine groups. And they've performed a natural experiment: to forgo the measles vaccine based on this propaganda," David Johnson, program manager with the Hennepin County Health Department, told NBC News.

Somali immigrants have been hardest hit in the outbreak.

"We've seen that the vaccine rates in the community that's being affected right now were once about the same or even a little higher than our average. They've dropped to about half of that," Johnson said.

"And unfortunately now we are seeing the result. Measles is spreading rapidly in the community and 11 children are hospitalized. And at the same time there is no evidence of any corresponding drop in autism in the community," he told NBC News.

The only positive aspect of the outbreak is that it shows that anti-vaccine activists are wrong, according to health officials.

May 9, 2017, National Post: Anti-vaxxers converted Minnesota’s Somali community. Now, the state faces historic measles outbreak

May 9, 2017, Slate.comThe Right Should Blame Trump’s Anti-Vaxxer Pals, Not Islam, for a Measles Outbreak in Minnesota

In the midst of the second measles outbreak in the state in six years, Somali immigrants in Minnesota have found themselves caught between a manipulative anti-vaxxer movement and rising anti-immigrant activism in right-wing politics. More than 40 cases of the measles have been reported in the state, home to the largest Somali population in the U.S., in the past month.

The anti-vaxxer streak in Minnesotan Somali communities began around 2008, when parents began expressing worries about the disproportionate number of Somali children in special-education classes. A University of Minnesota study found that Somali children were slightly more likely than white children—and considerably more likely than the general population—to be diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Somali children with autism were significantly more likely to develop intellectual disabilities than autistic children in any other racial or ethnic group.

Because the causes of autism are unknown, there are no satisfactory answers for Somali parents concerned about the wellbeing of their current and future children. Public-health officials say it could be just a “statistical fluke,” as can be the case with clusters of other noncontagious conditions. Other floated explanatory theories, like genetic predisposition, vitamin D deficiency, and intermarriage all fall short of justifying the gap. Communities began calling autism “the American disease,” because there’s no Somali word for autism and the condition is not recognized in Somalia.

May 9, 2017, NBC News Measles Outbreak in Minnesota Caused by Vaccine Skepticswww.nbcnews.com/.../measles-outbreak-minnesota-caused-vaccine-skeptics-n756246

May 9, 2017, CBS News: Why is Minnesota experiencing the worst measles outbreak in nearly 30 years?  

May 8, 2017, CNN: Anti-vaccine groups blamed in Minnesota measles outbreak

May 7, 2017, Yahoo News: Anti-vaccers descended on Minnesota and the result is sadly predictable

Vaccines do not cause autism, according to numerous studies that have debunked the perceived links between vaccination and the developmental disorder. Medical experts say there is no debate about the safety of these vaccines.   

While it's true that autism prevalence has increased in the U.S. in the last two decades, that doesn't necessarily mean autism is growing worse. A 2015 study found individuals who would have previously been diagnosed with other intellectual disabilities are now being correctly diagnosed with autism.    

May 4, 2017, CBS News: Measles outbreak in Minnesota sickens dozens   Research that links the vaccine to autism has been widely discredited. But Anab Gulaid, a University of Minnesota researcher who worked on the autism study, said autism is often diagnosed in children around the same age as they receive their measles vaccine, so some fears persist.

"It's an emotional issue for people," she said. …

Evidence-based research has repeatedly shown no relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism, and there should be no hesitations about vaccines, said Patsy Stinchfield, senior director of infection control at Children's Minnesota hospital.

"In medical science, there is no debate about the safety of vaccines," she said.

 May 3, 2017, ABC News: Measles outbreak sickens dozens of Minnesota Somalis

Minnesota law requires that a child be vaccinated before enrolling in child care, early education or school. But it also allows exemptions for medical reasons. Research that links the vaccine to autism has been widely discredited. But Anab Gulaid, a University of Minnesota researcher who worked on the autism study, said autism is often diagnosed in children around the same age

Anne Dachel is Media Editor for Age of Autism.


Shelley Tzorfas

I have seen the figures-1 in every 32 children there are Autistic. Boys get Autism approximately on a 5 to 1 basis or a 4 to 1 basis. What makes the headlines? Parents who have to suffer a week or two at home while they take care of a child with a perfectly normal right-of-passage childhood illness while administering home made chicken soup and vitamin A. Measles has the ability to clear the system and produce Permanent immunity unlike the vaccine that must be shot into children 5 or 6 times while pushing Human Aborted Fetal cells, cannibalism, and other animal cells into innocent children. There was No Autism from where they came-only here. When those same parents must change the diaper of a 15 year old aggressive child who cannot speak for himself, Where is the Media, The Fear mongoring headlines then? Nowhere, they are silent. Nothing is more fearful than having a low or mid level child with Autism when the parent thinks-"Who will take care of my child when I am Gone?" The media has a financial agenda-they get paid to create forced vaccinations by the pharmaceutical companies as happened in California-forced vaccinations for every public school and private school student in the state. What happened? A 17% Increase in the Kindergarteners with Autism in Los Angeles in just the first 3 months of school alone. This should be the Headlines-caring for sick children for the rest of your life, not a 1 or 2 week inconvenience!


This is why parents distrust MMR. It's not because of Andrew Wakefield:

"My son grew up a normal, healthy and bouncing baby. He started speaking a few words by the time he was about 15 months. He waited for me at the door everyday as I got back home from work and welcomed me inside. He knew how I opened the door and the approximate time I came home each day. He raced down the stairs and hugged me, then held my hand and led me inside. I looked forward to those moments and they were perfect moments as they relieved me of the day’s tensions and small workplace frustrations. Then one day, I came home and he did not welcome me as was his wont.

A few days earlier, Abdimalik got his 18 months MMR vaccine as scheduled. I still remember that day. His mother was coming back from his appointment and passed my place of work to give me a ride home. Abdimalik was sitting in his car-seat, very quite, subdued and absent minded. As I took my seat I glanced back wondering if he was asleep or not. He was seated squarely in his seat but was looking straight ahead at a point in space. I called out to him and he did not respond. I shook him and he did not move. I looked at my wife and asked what happened and she explained where they came from and that everything went well. She explained how he thanked the nurse as she put a sticker on his chest before the injection in order to build rapport. After that we rode home in silence and life was never the same again.

On all subsequent days after that, Abdimalik went from one extreme behavioural problem to another. Fortunately he did not have seizures or vomiting like many other kids we came to know. But he manifested all other behaviours like tantrums, biting, sleeplessness etc. We spent the entire next winter virtually awake at nights, relieving each other and trying everything possible to calm him down and put him to sleep. It was not until we withdrew dairy from his diet that he started sleeping. This simple advice came to us from another parent of an autistic child, and not from our medical caregivers. The doctors we visited knew exactly what the problem was but dare not tell us. One of them finally referred us to the school district, and there we heard the word 'autism' for the first time."


Aimee Doyle

@ Greta - you make some interesting points. I hadn't realized that vaccine exemptions were such a mixed bag. Clearly the issue is complex and party control is only one factor. Even in states that do allow medical exemptions, it seems to vary by state on how available such a medical exemption is for those who request it.

There's an odd sort of balancing act going on here. The following observations are based on my experience as a parent, attorney, and advocate for twenty-five years, but I'm sure this issue too is more complex. I'm thinking mostly of political positions; personal stance likely varies based on how much experience the individual has with autism and other disabilities.

I've noticed that while Democrats (and liberals) are generally opposed to any vaccine-autism connection, they do tend to favor spending that helps kids and adults once they have been identified as disabled: spending on IDEA, making services (such as OT, Speech, ABA) more accessible, Medicaid, scientific research into autism (even if it isn't always the most useful research); SSI; housing and employment supports for adults with disabilities.

I've noticed that Republicans (and conservatives) tend to be more open to individual rights, willing to discuss the vaccine-autism connection, and favor vaccine choice as opposed to mandates. However, they are generally not in favor of spending on IDEA and related services, Medicaid (recent House health care bill cuts $800B!); SSI and housing/employment supports, and scientific research on treatment, therapy, and cure.

Is there any way we can open up some dialogue here?

Bob Moffit

"Patsy Stinchfield, senior director of infection control at Children's Minnesota hospital:

"In medical science, there is no debate about the safety of vaccines," she said."

I suspect Patsy did not mean to state the problem so obviously .. but .. her words .. "there is no debate about the safety of vaccines" ... ARE NOT ONLY TRUE .. BUT ... ALSO A STUNNING .. ALBEIT UNINTENTIONAL ADMISSION .. WITHOUT ONGOING VIGOROUS DEBATE .. THERE IS NO "MEDICAL SCIENCE".


Please note that the MN House and Senate are under GOP control. The Governor is a Dem. Thus, if anything happens blame will rest evenly on both parties.

I'm not sure that party control is the main contributing factor. As of Aug 2016, three states have no exemptions (other than medical) CA, MS and WV (2 GOP and 1 Dem). The 47 remaining states all have a religious exemption and of those 18 also have philosophical exemptions. Those 18 run the gamut between GOP, Dem and dual control. The following has a nice visual that shows what exemptions each state has. It is a pretty mixed bag.


Aimee Doyle

Republicans in states like California and Minnesota seem to be largely silent - with a few exceptions - as Democrats push for additional vaccine legislation and escalate pro-vaccine hysteria. Even the bluest (or reddest) of states have substantial numbers of individuals who take opposing political stands.

Republicans may be outnumbered in these states, and lack political clout, but it doesn't mean they have to be quiet about the issue. Obviously, since they've been elected, they have a constituent base. Why don't they speak out more? Why don't their constituents contact them on this issue and demand action? There are forums where those voices could be heard - not every publication is liberal; not every television network is liberal (e.g. Fox news); blogs can express opinion; the issue can be discussed at town halls; conservative legislators can put information on their websites.

I think both parties seem to share the blame for not addressing the vaccine-autism issue, and so I don't think it's entirely fair - or useful - to blame one party. There could/should be more opposition than there is to vaccine mandates.


"the otherwise logical midwest". Good one!

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